Posts categorized as History

Minimising waste through design – forthcoming talk

I have posted a couple of blogs about Rekindle, the Christchurch-based collective dedicated to tackling the issues of wasted ‘waste’ materials. Rekindle was originally spurred into action by the Canterbury earthquakes, which resulted in the devastation of inner city Christchurch and the creation of massive piles of demolition waste, including ‘mountains’ of native timber. Te Papa is proud to own two beautiful pieces… Read more »

Once were dodos

  • Dodo statue, Ile aux Aigrettes. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Mauritius kestrel. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Pink pigeon. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • What am I

The dodo is the world’s most famous extinct bird. Its quirky appearance makes it instantly recognisable in popular culture, including in classics such as Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and the animated short film ‘Ice Age’. One of the reasons it is so well known is that it is considered to be the first… Read more »

Faking Rembrandt: Copies in the collection

Faking Rembrandt: copies in the collection

Copies of prints have never been easier to identify than they are today. More and more museums (including Te Papa) are making high-resolution images of their collections available online, so that we can compare the prints in our collection with their counterparts across the world. This makes it possible even for students like myself (a… Read more »

Very rare indeed: a Malawian dance garment

  • Hair fibers from each respective sampled area, GH024606; shown at 200x magnification. Image copyright Te Papa.
  • GH024606, detail of skins used to make the garment. Image copyright Te Papa.
  • Images of hair fibers removed from GH024606 showing exterior scale patterning and the structure of the interior. Images by A. Peranteau, copyright Te Papa.

Witchy tale In 1936, the Dominion Museum was given a gift so rare and strange that it made the news.  Described in the Auckland Star and in museum records as a “witch doctor’s outfit”, the garment was subsequently displayed for many years in the Buckle St building that opened that same year.   During an… Read more »

A week on Ile Mayes, Iles Kerguelen

  • Commerson's dolphin
  • Mayes hut
  • Aymeric & Charly in hut
  • Light-mantled sooty albatrosses, Ile Mayes. Image by Colin Miskelly, copyright IPEV/Te Papa

After 36 hours at Port aux Français, it was time for Charly Bost and me to head into the field again. We were accompanied by Aymeric Fromant, another IPEV ‘VSC’ (Volontaire Service Civique) volunteer. There are a dozen such ‘volunteers’ on Kerguelen each year, with two (Côme Rebaudet and Aymeric Fromant in 2016) focused on… Read more »

Ngā Toi Christmas Quiz: The Winner!

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The great Ngā Toi Christmas Quiz has a truly triumphant winner, Vivienne Morrell, of Wellington. She wins a Te Papa voucher, wine and Belgian chocolates, a pretty cool combination. Her set of answers was little short of brilliant: she only struggled with part of one question, which was fiendishly difficult anyway. Congratulations, Vivienne! Now, here’s a question for all of you: would you like more quizzes… Read more »

Barry Brickell (1935-2016)

[Barry Brickell], 1956, Auckland, by Steve Rumsey. Purchased 1998. Te Papa (F.009393)

It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to an extraordinary New Zealander – potter, artist, railway enthusiast, conservationist and a self confessed ‘practical visionary’. Our condolences go to Barry’s family and many friends. Barry was a second generation studio potter, following the pioneering achievements of potters including Len Castle who mentored Barry as a… Read more »

Painting by numbers: creating a colonial masterpiece

William Strutt’s View of Mt Egmont, Taranaki, New Zealand, taken from New Plymouth, with Maoris driving off settlers’ cattle, 1861 has been described by some as the ‘holy grail’ of colonial New Zealand painting. Paintings of this calibre are few and far between in New Zealand’s art history, as budding artists were more often preoccupied… Read more »

Lecture by visiting fashion historian Alexandra Palmer

Alexandra Palmer

On Tuesday 9 February, 2016 at 6pm Dr Alexandra Palmer of the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada will present a lecture at Massey University, Wellington on ‘Frock coats, redingotes and Dior: Fashion in the Royal Ontario Museum 1909-2016’. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is similar to Te Papa in that its collections span the intertwined worlds of natural history and… Read more »

Silent Night

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  • MA_I.366741_lo res
  • A painted notice to assist the evacuation of Anzac Cove, December 1915. Photograph by Norman Henry Prior. Wairarapa Archives (11-72/4-2-23.digital)
  • Saying goodbye to mates before leaving Gallipoli. Photo by Norman Prior. Wairarapa Archive

100 years ago in the early hours of 20 December 1915 the last party of New Zealand men left Anzac Cove, Gallipoli. The campaign was over. For those of us who worked on the exhibition, Gallipoli: The scale of our war, the stories of the Anzacs’ tenuous presence there from April to December 1915 are… Read more »